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  1. We don't use the iBook or the CD, just the regular book, which my daughter absolutely loves. We read through it, do the exercises and complement it with some extra practice using iPad apps. We are doing it instead of GSWL, with a view to moving to Latin Prep and, eventually, Wheelock. I don't use the TM, but am pretty proficient in Latin.
  2. Hello everyone, I finally heard back from CurrClick on Friday and, unfortunately, they don't currently have any opening for Live stuff, though they may have later in the year. However, I'm really keen to get going and have decided to get started the old-fashioned way, on a blog platform, though I also plan to explore what Google Hangout offers in the way of interaction. I've got some background work to do to prepare the club, but the idea is to get it started on the week beginning June 15. The structure remains as I have outlined below, but there may not be a live element to it, at least at the beginning. Could you please be so kind to message me if you are still interested in your children joining the club, so i can let you know when it's ready? Many thanks!
  3. We do school-lite too, with much (but not all) chosen by my children depending on their interest. So here's this summer's plan Math for both: chiefly Beast Academy for my girl, chiefly AOPS for my boy, with a little bit of Zaccaro and Borac thrown in and lots of fun games Writing for both: my girl because she needs it, my boy because he loves it. In both cases it will be mostly freewriting, plus I'm trying to put together a writing club (as I wrote in a separate thread) Delight-driven unit studies: beginner's Latin and Ancient Greece for my girl, beginner's Ancient Greek and Scratch for my boy plus lots of field trips, reading and crafting!
  4. I have tried lots of different programs with my children (Writing Strands, IEW, WWE, Bravewriter, Writing Tales, Wordsmith Apprentice, The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever) and eventually settled for my own version, which follows The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever as a spine but pulls in some elements from the other programs (especially Bravewriter and Wondsmith Apprentice). This allows me to tailor our writing program around the specific needs, learning styles and interests of my children. For example, my eldest, who is a natural writer, found IEW stifling and all the other programs generally too slow for his pace and taste, whereas my youngest, who is 2e and likes to write but has some issues that affect her handwriting and make the whole writing process somewhat painful, needs to alternate the fun and freedom of Bravewriter with clear, detailed instruction sessions on structure and style. I also keep grammar very separate from writing for precisely the reason you mention - it kills their love of writing. Instead, I teach it as a separate subject and in a very informal way. With my youngest, in particular, it involves a lot of jumping and movement to reduce the boredom factor (so, for example, instead of diagramming, she may jump for the subject, clap for the predicate etc). We also read lots of 'fun' books that teach grammar by stealth!
  5. They are by no means high literature but my daughter read and love the Shannon Hale series and I found it better than the average toy tie-in and better than many 'girl stories' (I found books from both Goddess Girls and Grimmtastic Girls, which my daughter was recently given for her birthday, significantly worse). We haven't read any other book from the series.
  6. I'm a fan of both Latin and Greek, but would start with a living language first (for us it was French) and introduce Latin and Greek later (my boy started Latin when he turned 9, my girl is starting now, at a slightly earlier age, but just because she is very keen. I'm also going to start my boy, now almost 11, on Greek with a summer unit study). We use Galore Park for French and, like Gil, supplement it with a mix of media: simple books, DVDs/Netflix, iPad apps etc. For Latin, my boy started in, and still uses Galore Park plus a mix of iPad apps, with a view of moving him to Wheelock as he progresses. My girl, who is much younger, has started on Minimus and loves it. We have SongSchool Latin but didn't really use it--it just didn't work for my children.
  7. Junie, thank you so much! Just found a huge set on Ebay that ships abroad for a decent price! And Fawns, thanks, the middleman idea is a good one for future sets.
  8. I really love Top Secret Adventures but I am abroad and can't get them, unfortunately. Do you know of any books or similar puzzle programs for geography that ship overseas? I looked at Little Passports but it doesn't seem meaty enough for the price? Thanks!
  9. OK everyone, just to keep you posted: I have somewhat refined the writing club idea, and I see it structured roughly as follows: The club will be a safe, supportive online environment where children can explore and develop their writing, and share it with new friends. It will be based on two prongs: a weekly learning activity to explore one element of writing (e.g. memorable beginnings, creating suspense, 'showing' not 'telling') or a genre (narrative, poems, newspaper-style reports) plus an optional weekly free or prompt based writing. Children (and moms) be told the theme of each activity a week ahead, so they can gather any relevant piece of writing that they particularly enjoy (theirs or by an established author) . They will then be able to share their chosen piece of writing with the rest of the club, explaining why they like it and think it is strong. I will then provide a small piece of 'boring' writing and ask for their help to make it more effective by applying the skills we are exploring each particular week. I find that this is the best way to develop a writing skill, because my children are very sensitive to what they perceive as criticism of their work, but don't have any qualms in improving mine! Children would then have the option to write their own piece, either following a set prompt or choosing their own theme (ideally using their newly practiced skill). They can then share what they have written with the rest of the club at a later meeting and, for those who wish it, they can also receive positive, constructive feedback from me (not sure whether I mentioned this before, but I am a professional writer) as well as other class members. If I can run this on Currclick, I'd ideally like it to be a hybrid club, with a live session themed around the learning activity while the actual writing would be self-paced, with prompts available on the class page. The live session would be recorded for those who miss it. The club would be designed for 7 to 12 years olds and would be free and not faith-based. I have emailed Currclick to ask whether they would be interested in running the club on their platform, but I haven't heard back yet. As soon as I do, I'll let you know and, assuming you are still interested in your children joining the club, we can get it off the ground.
  10. I have been in a similar situation, and pulled the books I deemed age inappropriate, replacing them with others (had exactly the same qualms as you about Twenty and Ten, for example, and decided to skip it). It worked well. So my take is that, aslong as you are only making a few substitutions, you can go with Bookshark. However, if you feel the majority of the books old be inappropriate, I'd go with BYL.
  11. OK, here is a question: would you prefer a live club that meets at a set time every week or a self-paced one that has weekly activities and prompts but can be accessed when convenient?
  12. OK, hee is a question: would you prefer a live club that meets at a set time every week or a self-paced one that has weekly activities and prompts but can be accessed when convenient?
  13. Glad to see so many people are interested! One thing I'm really trying to work out how to address feedback. Some children (like my DS and my DD) can get very precious about their writing. At the same time, constructive feedback can be very useful. So perhaps we could have feedback only for children who want it, and keep it positive (e.g. I'd like to find out more about/ hear more of...): what do you think?
  14. Thanks Jennifer, I hadn't thought of Currclick! Grover, I am glad to hear it has potential. I'm turning a few ideas in my head and will post more soon!
  15. Galore Park, the publisher of Latin Prep, also publish a set of Latin Prep workbooks for practice, so maybe those could help? Also, if you are Ok with your DD using an iPad app, Pipiatum Level 1 covers pretty much the same ground as Latin Prep 1.
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